German plastics and rubber machinery orders fell 27% in the first quarter of 2022 from a year earlier, while overall sales rose 3%.
Strong demand from the packaging and medical sectors fueled demand in 2021, so the decline was a bit of a base effect.
However, other factors have made it difficult for machinery and equipment builders to process orders and convert them into sales, according to officials from the mechanical engineering industry association, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA)which is based in Frankfurt, Germany.
“First and foremost is the low availability of materials,” said Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of VDMA Plastics & Rubber Machinery, in a press release.
The war in Ukraine and China’s strict zero COVID policy have also contributed to logistical issues and greater market uncertainty, which is having a negative effect on business.
As a result, the trade association is reducing its initial forecast which called for growth of 5-10%, saying it is no longer realistic for 2022.
“Due to the ongoing developments in the procurement market, we only expect a sideways movement or, in the best case, a slight increase in turnover for 2022 – despite full order books. We expect a development of zero to 2%,” Kühmann said. from the new perspective.
With more than 200 members, VDMA is the largest mechanical engineering organization in Germany and Europe, especially in Austria, Switzerland and France.
VDMA says German member companies represent sales of around €7 billion in core machines and €10 billion including peripheral technology.
One in four plastic machines made globally come from Germany by value, according to VDMA.
During this time, the The Italian machinery sector published its results last week from the latest member survey which shows a 14% growth in production for the year 2021, with value surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
For the first quarter of 2022, Amaplast reported a 28% year-over-year increase in demand, particularly in overseas markets.
Amaplast’s outlook for the second quarter is also optimistic, with incoming orders expected to increase further by 6-7%.
However, Amaplast officials also said it was difficult to make forecasts for the coming months as many factors could influence industry performance. They pointed out that the war in Ukraine was limiting manufacturing supplies and leading to higher energy costs as well as COVID-related shutdowns in China, including the port of Shanghai.
“Companies therefore find themselves in an extremely complicated and also paradoxical situation. Despite the above problems, orders continue to pile up and it may become complicated for many companies to fulfill them,” Amaplast said in a press release. hurry.